The Maxims & Counsels of Saint Benedict Joseph Labre

Thirty useful sentiments of the Servant of God [St] Benedict Joseph Labre, drawn from the history of his life.
  1. By the grace of God we can do everything. We can remain unhurt in the midst of the fire, like the three holy youths in the furnace of Babylon.
  2. Everything may be done by the help of God, provided we have a sincere goodwill.
  3. To communicate through obedience is better and more pleasing to God, than to abstain from it through humility.
  4. It is never allowable to use or keep anything when we know it has been stolen.
  5. It is never lawful to tell a lie; we ought always to speak the truth, whatever it may cost us.
  6. We offend God, because we do not know his greatness.
  7. He who knows what God is, studies to avoid sin.
  8. The want of proper examination, true contrition, and a firm purpose of amendment, is the cause of bad confessions, and of the ruin of souls.
  9. In this world we are all in a valley of tears. Our consolation is not here; we shall have it eternally in Paradise, if we suffer tribulations on earth.
  10. God afflicts us because he loves us; and it is very pleasing to him, when in our afflictions he sees us abandon ourselves to his paternal care.
  11. Where fraternal charity is concerned, everything should be sacrificed.
  12. Those only are to be called poor and unhappy, who are in hell, who have lost God for eternity, not those who are poor on earth.
  13. However much we suffer for the love of Jesus Crucified, it is but little.
  14. Let him who seeks true humility, employ two means: mental prayer, meditating on the greatness of God, and his own nothingness; vocal prayer, asking it of God, through the merits of Jesus and Mary.
  15. By talking and irreverence in churches, we show disrespect to Almighty God in his own house.
  16. Acts of irreverence in churches are sins which greatly displease God; they horrify the angels, and do great harm to the soul.
  17. If there were only one person to be condemned, each should fear to be that one.
  18. We should often meditate on the pains of hell, in order to abhor mortal sin, which casts us into it for all eternity; and think of the small number of the elect, that we may live in fear.
  19. The Providence of God is never wanting to him who confides in God as he ought.
  20. With regard to corporal provision, we should not think of a future day, according to the advice of our blessed Redeemer: "Be not solicitous for the morrow." God who provides for today, will also provide for tomorrow.
    Particular sentiments concerning true poverty, which the Servant of God wonderfully loved and practised.

  21. The poor should live by alms.
  22. A little suffices for the support of the body; what is superfluous, will only serve to furnish the worms with a greater feast.
  23. A poor man does not seek a bed in order to sleep, he throws himself down anywhere.
  24. Conveniences are not for the poor.
  25. Poor people should not use a loaf; they should be content with fragments.
  26. The poor should not carry money in their travels.
  27. The poor should not eat dainties.
  28. The poor should not be well clad.
  29. The poor should not drink wine: it is not necessary; water suffices to appease thirst.

[Antonio Maria Coltraro (d. 1797), The Life of the Venerable Servant of God, Benedict Joseph Labre. (Oratorian series: "The Saints and Servants of God.") London. Thomas Richardson and Son. 1850. pp.354-56.]

[Home Page] [Table of Contents] [Next Page]